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Soul Fungus

by Simon Clarke

 

Every day as darkness falls and the day’s echoes falter to silence, my existence slips further away.  Primordial spores now infect my mind, connecting to a past that isn’t mine.

Complex toxins cling to every moist membrane, burning my guts as my soul slowly rots.

Soon I will forget the afternoon I dozed too long amongst ancient trees, waking covered with a fine layer of pale filaments, brushing them off too late.

Unearthly enzymes dissolve and digest my being, fusing with my DNA. Before long I will be gone. It will become me completely, ready to join with you all.

 

Simon Clarke

Simon Clarke lives and writes in Norfolk, United Kingdom. He enjoys writing poetry and fiction and has been published by Hedgehog Press, Black Hare Press, Fifty Word Stories, and Breaking Rules Publishing. He regularly submits to UK and international publications and enjoys reading poetry at open mic events.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sclarkenp/

Crawl

by Sophie Wagner

 

“Please!” the hysterical mother shrieked. “You have to help her, she’s going to die!”

“Mrs,” the doctor replied. We are doing everything we can. We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The girl who sat in front of them, once a healthy athlete, was now frail and almost transparent. Her hair was slicked with sweat from a fever that you could feel from halfway across the room. And worst of all, black lines traced up and down her veins.

Suddenly she began to convulse and fell to the floor. A dark shape appeared under her skin.

It began to crawl.

 

Sophie Wagner

Sophie Wagner is an up-and-coming student author from Ontario. She has been published by places such as Scary Snippets and Poets Choice! Besides writing and reading Sophie enjoys playing various sports such as soccer and karate.

Beauty Mark

by Chisto Healy

 

Lara had first seen it on her shoulder. She had been outdoors that day and wearing a tank top. She figured it was a sunspot, a new freckle, some might say a mole. Lara preferred beauty mark. It was cute.

Then it wasn’t.

Lara’s little brown spot grew and stretched. It became scaly and raised as it multiplied, now five thick lines reaching to a large brown base, like a dark hand gripping her back.

She thought it was some kind of infection or disease until she heard its voice inside her mind. It said, “Kill.”

 

Chisto Healy

Chisto Healy has had over 100 stories published in 2020. He lives in NC with his fiancée and amazing kids. You can follow him on Amazon or find what is out at his blog https://chistohealy.blogspot.com. He loves to connect with authors and readers alike so feel free to reach out.

The Dancer

by Lyndsey Ellis-Holloway

 

It was the latest craze. All dancers were doing it.

How else did one stay thin enough to be on top?

Pills didn’t work, diets were useless—what was the harm in cheating a little?

Lucy’s flexibility had got her noticed.

The way her body moved and swayed with eerie grace.  She stretched, twisted, and turned in ways other ballerinas could only dream of.

So thin. So beautiful. So talented.

Little did they know. Lucy was long gone.

The tapeworm egg she had swallowed and allowed to develop had taken over her entire body.

It had always wanted to dance.

Lyndsey Ellis-Holloway

Lyndsey Ellis-Holloway is a writer from Knaresborough, UK, who focuses on fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and dystopian stories, creating compelling characters and layering in myth and legend at every opportunity. 
When she’s not writing she spends time with her husband and her friends enjoying movies, conventions, and of course writing for fun as well!

We Are Family

by Nicole Little

 

I tried to stay calm.

But I could feel it moving.

My small cry of revulsion alerted him that I was awake. He approached from across the bunker and I cringed. 

“How are you feeling?”

“Sick.” 

“It won’t last forever.” He sat on the bed, adjusted my restraints. “It will be worth it.”

Tears stung my eyes. “Please. It will kill me.”

He edged closer, lightly caressed my stomach. 

It rippled in response. 

I screamed.

“You should be honoured, dear Emily.” All four insectoid eyes gleamed with satisfaction. “It’s the dawn of a new world. And you will be Mother.” 

Nicole Little

Nicole Little lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Her short stories have appeared in thirteen anthologies, with her first novella set for release in November 2020. In her spare time, Nicole has either a pen in her hand or her nose in a book. She is married with two daughters.

Facebook: @NLitNon

Chastened

by Patrick Winters

 

A blonde bombshell was walking Denny’s way. 

As she passed by with a flirtatious smile, his cheeks went red, and a lewd thought about her lips came crisp and clear to his mind.

An instant later, a wild flare of pain racked his body. The worst of the agony ignited in his nether regions, setting them afire. It was enough to bring tears.

As the sensation ceased, he heard that whisper in his head: The only desires you should think of are mine.

Denny, bowing to the thing inside him, moved along, head hung low, avoiding every woman he could.

 

Patrick Winters

Patrick Winters is a graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. He has been published in the likes of Sanitarium MagazineDeadman’s TomeTrysts of Fate, and other such titles. A full list of his previous publications may be found at his author’s site, if you are so inclined to know: http://wintersauthor.azurewebsites.net/Publications/List

Parachnoids

by Karen Bayly

 

“Parasitic arachnoids,” declared the entomologist. “Deadly.”

I’d laughed. “Pull the other one. I’ll be okay.”

Famous last words. There must be hundreds of the little bastards nestling in my flesh. I feel them eating, scratching, spreading, pushing upwards from within.

I can handle the legs growing out the edges of my nipples that look like wayward hairs. And the bristles all over my back and limbs aren’t so bad.

But it’s the eyes, man, the eyes. Popping up everywhere. Body, earlobes, eyelids, lips, even my penis. Damn. The tip of my dick has eight compound spider eyes.

Kill me. Please.

Karen Bayly

Karen Bayly is a writer, software tester, and author of the steampunk novel Fortitude. Her PhD in biology and research background both inform her writing, a fusion of science fiction and horror with traditional fantasy. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with two cats, a guitar, and a ukulele.

Website: www.karenbayly.com

The Harikikigaki Has the Answer

by Kelly Matsuura

 

A weak pulse, lethargy, and fainting spells—Dr Yamata knew his wife was infected by a yōkai parasite. But which one?

“We shouldn’t have gone camping,” he mumbled, searching for his copy of The Harikikigaki, an ancient acupuncture text.

Later, he found Chiho unconscious in their backyard. As he desperately tried CPR, a tiny red-and-white horse escaped Chiho’s mouth with her final breath.

The doctor hadn’t found the textbook, but the umakan was unmistakable.

With a soft whinny, it flew next door, where the neighbour was burning leaves.

Dr Yamata would be seeing Mr Enami at his clinic very soon.

 

 Kelly Matsuura

Kelly Matsuura writes diverse YA, fantasy, and literary fiction.
She is the creator of The Insignia Series anthologies (Asian fantasy themed) and has had stories published with Ink & Locket Press, A Murder of Storytellers, Black Hare Press, Harbinger Press, and many more.